Saturday, February 25, 2012

Second Age Reviews: Dr. No

I have been racking my brain (read: rereading my copy of Blood Meridian with Seinfeld on in the background and shut up) trying to come up with something relevant to say on the subject of Dr. No. I already reviewed Goldfinger just about a year ago, so doing Dr. No seems like little more than an opportunity to rehash my jokes and points from that. Did I already make my 'Bond is a rapist' joke? Yup. How about the point that all the issues that would eventually drag Bond as a series down were already here? Yup.

But I already avoided Psycho because I literally had nothing to say and The Room because I technically have an announcement to make about that (which should be up next week sometime) so I gotta say something. The biggest thing that I noticed about it on this recent viewing is that all of the cliches of the Bond films are already there, they're just played alarmingly straight (notably the very silly one of the villain sitting Bond down and explaining his, rather nonsensical, plan to him).

Aside from that, it's an alarmingly racist entry. Not in any 'I hate' kind of way, just in the absurd amount of stereotypes that get dragged out (I kept expecting the black guy to call Bond 'massa'). Oh and did anyone else notice that Bond doesn't do a whole lot to foil the enemy? He shows up, turns a wheel, has a 20 second fist fight and wins. Bam. Oh, and I'm pretty sure Bond is sterile from all that radiation.

But all those issues aside, it's a fun little entry. Bond is less an action hero in this one and more of a gumshoe. Indeed, there are maybe 3 actual action scenes, and the rest of the time Bond wanders around investigating and interrogating people, and Connery is still the best Bond ever. I suppose all the cliches wandering around the margins are because they couldn't figure out where they wanted to take the series at that point. So if you're in the mood for classic Bond, you can do a lot worse than Dr. No. I guess that's it.

Elessar is a 22 year old Alaskan born cinephile and he's pretty sure Dr. No's island is just the island from The Prisoner.

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